May 17, 2012
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - The University of New Mexico track and field team qualified 17 athletes to the West Preliminary of the 2012 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships in Austin, Texas, the national selection committee announced Thursday.
Of those 17, 12 Lobo men secured their places in 14 different events, with multiple athletes participating in the 5,000-meter run and triple jump.
The triple jump will also have multiple Lobos trying to advance with Floyd Ross and Ty Kirk. Ross, a 2012 Indoor All-American in the triple jump, holds the ninth-best mark in the west (52-feet, 5.25-inches), while Kirk currently is 27th with his 50-9.5 mark.
Also competing for the men include a pair of Mountain West champions, Beejay Lee and Sam Evans. Lee, the reigning MW title-holder in the 200, is entered in the 100 and 200 and maintains seeds times of 10.49 in the 100 and 21.09 in the 200. Evans, the 2012 MW champ in the 1500, is set to run in the same event with his 3:43.95 season best ranking 24th in the west.
The Lobos' two hurdle standouts are also primed for action. 110-hurdler De'Vron Walker (14.32 seed time) just made into the field, while 400-hurdler Chaz Lewis (52.14 seed time) was the 47th best in the west.
The jumps will also be well represented. 2012 NCAA Indoor long jump champ Kendall Spencer is ranked third in the west (and the nation) with his 26-8.25 mark, while high jumper Django Lovett is ranked 29th with his 6-11.75 mark and pole vaulter Logan Pflibsen is 41st with his 16-10.75 clearance.
Multi-athlete Richard York will also compete in the javelin at the West Regional, and is also slated to participate at the NCAA Championships in the rigorous decathlon.
On the women's side, five of the Lobos' most dangerous distance runners will take the track.
The last Lobo looking to advance is Ruth Senior in the 3000 steeplechase. Senior already holds the six fastest steeplechase times in UNM history and looks to build on her 23rd-ranked seed time of 10:22.55 in Austin.
The three-day meet starts May 24 at University of Texas, Austin's Michael A. Myers Stadium. The meet, along with the East Preliminary in Jacksonville, Fla., will determine the field for the NCAA Outdoor Championships as the top 12 in each event from both meets will compete in Des Moines, Iowa on June 6-9 for the NCAA championship.